Ovaören-Yassıhöyük Excavations and a Chronological Overview of Development and Change in Central Anatolian Iron Age Architecture
1Ankara Hacı Bayram Veli Üniversitesi, Edebiyat Fakültesi, Arkeoloji Bölümü, Ankara/TÜRKİYE
2Ankara Hacı Bayram Veli Üniversitesi, Edebiyat Fakültesi, Arkeoloji Bölümü, Ankara/TÜRKİYE
3Çukurova Üniversitesi, Fen-Edebiyat Fakültesi Arkeoloji Bölümü, Adana/TÜRKİYE
Keywords: Central Anatolia, Ovaören, Architecture, Early Iron Age, Middle Iron Age, Late Iron Age.
Ovaören, located in geologically rich and diverse Cappadocia in Central Anatolia, represents an archaeological integrity consisting of three distinct units, 2.5 km south of the town of Ovaören in Gülşehir county of Nevşehir Province. The area, which is also called the “Ovaören Archaeological Settlement Area”, consists of Topakhöyük and the Terrace Area to the west, and Yassıhöyük in the east, which is 350 m away from these units. While the excavations carried out between 2007 and 2021 in Ovaören proved that these three units are chronologically complementary areas, Early and Middle Bronze Age layers in Topakhöyük and the Terrace Area; Late Bronze Age layers, Iron Age layers, and weakly structured Hellenistic-Roman layers were unearthed as to in Yassıhöyük. Ovaören is one of the settlements affected by the political and cultural changes in the region in the Early Iron Age, and which grew and developed within the boundaries of Tabal Country in the Middle Iron Age. Ovaören, which was considered one of the important centers of the Tabal country in the Late Hittite period, developed into a city within the borders of the satrapy of Cappadocia in the Late Iron Age. In this context, architectural remains and archaeological finds from the Iron Age layers in the settlement contribute to understanding the Iron Age culture of the region. Iron Age layers covering this development and alteration process in Ovaören are represented by YH 8-7 dated to the Early Iron Age, YH 6-4 dated to the Middle Iron Age, and YH 3-2 dated to the Late Iron Age in Yassıhöyük.